The William Smith College field hockey team closed out its Liberty League slate with a 6-1 rout of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, Oct 20. The victory clinched the conference regular season championship outright. The Herons secured at least a share of the title with a 4-2 win at Rensselaer on Friday, Oct 19.
Junior Melanie O’Connor led the offensive onslaught with two goals and two assists. Sophomore Sarah Tompson and first-year Madison Finn both contributed a goal and an assist. Senior Annie Kietzman and first-year Erin Miller also hit the back of the cage and junior Margaret McConnell was credited with an assist.
In goal, sophomore Catherine Hare improved to 11-0 on the season. She didn’t face a shot in 46:20 of work. Senior Taryn Little turned back eight shots in the final 23:40.
Vassar (7-7, 0-6) sat in and played defense throughout most of the first half, keeping the match scoreless until the 31st minute. O’Connor broke through the wall, assisted by Finn, to open the scoring. Less than three minutes later, O’Connor set up Kietzman’s team-leading 15th goal of the year. The goal moved Kietzman into fifth place on William Smith’s career points list with 119 (41g, 37a).
William Smith (13-2, 6-0) enjoyed a 24-3 advantage in shots in the first half and carried a 2-0 lead into the break.
Less than five minutes into the second half, O’Connor worked a give-and-go with FInn that ended with the rookie’s third goal of the year. In the 44th minute, O’Connor scored an unassisted goal, her eighth of the season, to make it 4-0. Thompson set up Miller’s 47th minute strike and then scored a goal of her own, assisted by McConnell, to give the Herons an insurmountable lead.
Rebecca Smith scored an unassisted goal in the 63rd minute for Vassar. The Brewers actually outshot William Smith in the second half 17-11. Vassar goalie Maggie Brelis went the distance and made nine saves.
William Smith will return home to host Hamilton on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The match is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.